How Food Affects Lifestyle
How Food Affects Lifestyle
How Food Affects Lifestyle : At almost any moment, we have an abundance of food choices available to us at the click of a button. Having multiple options is both a pro and a con. On the one hand, we can choose decadent pizza, loaded fries, or a milkshake, all easy options that might give us comfort and a temporary mood-energy boost.
Or, we can select a stir-fry with fresh veggies, a wrap with lean meats and flavorful sauces, or a smoothie; these can improve our overall well-being, not just for the day but for the long term.
Dr. Uma Naidoo, a nutritional psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, explains how what we eat affects each aspect of our health, from disease prevention to physical stamina, that waistline we have been aiming for, and even our mood and mental well-being. If you wonder how to make dietary changes, it can be simple to switch to foods that add to our physical well-being rather than subtract from our health with a bit of practice.
It may feel overwhelming to make dietary changes, and in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to grab a quick and convenient meal. “Fast” food can be healthy; an easy way to nourish the body is through a food delivery service where you can choose clean meal options. Some delivery services focus specifically on healthy eating and will show you the nutritional content of the meal you are choosing; what better way to nourish yourself than by using a food delivery service to bring healthy options straight to your door.
Eat Right For Your Mood
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression and anxiety affect roughly 19.4 million adults in the US each year. Daily life has its ups and downs, but what if we have more control over our mental state than we previously realized, and what if a percentage of that is connected directly to what we eat? It is, and you can take the reins and steer your mood in the right direction!
You are probably wondering how. A little bit of background on this process is that refined carbohydrates break down into sugar; sugar affects mood, and, just like an anvil against steel, our attitude can come crashing down based on what we choose to put in our bodies. There truly is a reason behind the science of a well-balanced diet; not only can it keep our BMI in check, but it holds our mood in a happier and more stable place.
If you wake up feeling good but are overcome with irritability or the blues after eating breakfast, try checking what you ate. If it was sugary or carb-heavy with no protein, this is often your mood culprit. Try switching to a protein-rich breakfast, such as a meat and veggie omelet. According to research posted by the Cleveland Clinic, eating protein increases our levels of dopamine and norepinephrine; these brain chemicals play a huge role in our mood and concentration. In addition, Dr. Uma Naidoo says that even specific fruits, vegetables, and meats can play critical roles in how we feel.
Here is a knowledge-bomb; many people have inflammation. Pharmacologist and Ph.D. Alison Abbott is one of many who have explored the link between inflammation and mental well-being and some mental illnesses. When inflammation reaches the brain, it can cause mood disorders and depression. It is important to note because inflammation is not just a sore muscle, a wound healing, or an allergic reaction; it is a state of brain health or rather lack thereof. Sweets, processed carbs, fried foods, deli meats, and alcohol are all acidic. Acidity leads to inflammation. Short-term inflammation serves a noble cause and is part of the healing process for wounds, injuries, and more, but long-term inflammation is not a friend.
A final tip on what to eat; alkaline foods, like lettuce, green vegetables, lemons, and various fruits, reduce acidity, which research has linked to mood improvement. So the next time you are stuck at home or the office and need a boost, put down the cookies and try the easy option of ordering protein or greens from a food delivery service and see how better you can feel without having to lift a finger.
Foods Effect On Our Energy Levels
As mentioned earlier, the first thing you eat at the start of the day affects not just mood but energy. Some people experience an energy crash in the morning, and others have it in the afternoon, often an hour or two post lunch. According to research done at many universities, including the University of Worcester in the United Kingdom, what we eat first thing in the morning will dictate our physical energy. Those who opt for a protein-rich breakfast like a veggie and meat omelet, will likely have stamina that stays reasonably consistent throughout the day, and mainly if lunch also consists of non-sugary items. Those who opt for a heavy carb and sugar breakfast like pastries or pancakes are more likely to experience a crash in energy levels.
To sum up what occurs; the body is overwhelmed by sugar, insulin comes to the rescue as the balancing act, and because of this, our blood sugar decreases, we experience a drop in energy, sometimes almost immediately and generally within four hours of the heavy carb and sugar meal.
Consuming lighter meals will also maintain a more even level of energy. Physical activities like walking, running, yoga, and sports will also wake us up, increasing energy. If we add a good night of sleep we are on the road to energy success.
Eat Right For Your Waistline
Do a quick internet search, and there are a myriad of tips on losing weight and maintaining weight loss. A cold-turkey diet is not the most sustainable route for many people; though it can have its place. Slow and easy often wins the race and keeps fat off.
If you and a few friends are looking to get in shape, gather everyone together for a meal and order through a food delivery service after that evening group run. The beauty of this option is a no-mess celebration with various healthy choices for everybody’s palate.
Easy Tips For Weight Maintenance
- Go easy on grains and refined sugars. Replace rice with lentils or cauliflower rice.
- Skip the soda, sweets, and limit alcohol. Sugar cravings are often a sign we need to increase protein and healthy fat consumption.
- Food may be a soothing balm for the soul, and overeating strains various organs. Try portion control. Eat just until you are comfortably full.
- Try not to eat after 7 pm. If you cannot sleep when you are hungry, opt for a small handful of almonds, raw vegetables, or fresh fruit.
- Omit not only fried foods but foods cooked with large amounts of oil. We need fat, but eating raw or healthy sources like avocado, olive oil on a salad, or grilled salmon provide us with the fat we need for healthy functioning.
- Replace about half of your meals with green vegetables, peppers, summer squash, and other non-starchy veggies.
Eat to Prevent Illness
Eating to maintain our mental health, energy, and weight has essential tips that delve directly into eating to prevent illness and disease.
As mentioned earlier, too many acidic foods can create inflammation. While this affects mental well-being, it also has a massive impact on the physical health of the human body. When there is chronic inflammation for a longer period of time it can cause issues like arthritis, gastro-intestinal problems, weight gain, gout, and many other ailments. Studies have cited that it may also play a role in certain cancers, heart illnesses, and a variety of diseases.
Alkaline foods are our best bet. An easy way to do this is by eating leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, lemons, various fruits, and nuts. Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline environment.
Shop at a Farmers Market and ask each farmer whether or not they use pesticides. According to numerous studies and information posted by the National Library of Medicine, pesticides contribute to multiple illnesses. While it is not always easy to avoid pesticides, cutting them out of our diets as much as possible should be an essential goal for the long-term health of everyone.
While it may seem like nutritional advice is constantly warning against the rich, greasy, fried foods and sugar-laden desserts, it does not mean you cannot ever indulge. The science behind the words says it all; what we eat affects our entire well-being.
If you are wondering how to start eating to improve your physical health, physique, mood, or general stamina, make it easy on yourself. You do not have to learn how to cook healthy and delicious food immediately, or if you know how to and are too overwhelmed by life, opt for nutritious pre-made meals by checking local restaurants, grocery stores, or using a food delivery service. The power to change your life really does start with you.
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